Arsenal are set to welcome a couple of players back against Fulham after a number of midweek absences through illness and injury.
Arsenal’s list of absentees grew in midweek, with Martin Odegaard and Kieran Tierney joining it due to illness.
The Evening Standard report that both players are now expected to be back in action against Fulham, after recovering from their ailments.
Excluding Mohamed Elneny, who remains out for the season, Arsenal’s other absentees all play in the centre-forward position.
Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, and Leandro Trossard all missed Thursday’s game, and it doesn’t look hugely likely any of them will return on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta was keen to temper fan expectations on Jesus in midweek, and the Evening Standard suggest he will miss the Fulham game to continue to work on his fitness. But he could still be back in action before the international break.
Trossard is expected to miss the Fulham game with his groin injury, having a “small chance” of a return before the break. The January signing is certainly expected to be back by the time club football returns in April.
That leaves Nketiah as the only striker who might return against Fulham, but again he’s listed as a major doubt with his ankle issue.
Speaking in an interview ahead of the Fulham game, Arteta told Sky Sports all three of them are still out at the moment.
It seems as if Arsenal will once again be relying on Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith Rowe, and Fabio Vieira to fill in at centre-forward. All of them have played the position before, but it’s not the first-choice role for any of them.
Having Odegaard back is obviously a boost, and Tierney’s return will likely see him come back into the side against Sporting CP next Thursday, giving Oleksandr Zinchenko a much-deserved rest.